The 2010 Voodoo Experience: Superstars & The Unsung Heroes
New Orleans, LA
October 2931, 2010
During Halloween Weekend 2010 (October 29-31), New Orleans City Park played host to the 12th Annual Voodoo Experience. As always the festival featured food, fun, retail therapy, corporate sponsors/giveaways and top-shelf performances by musical legends, multi-platinum chart-topping superstar acts, emerging soon-to-be household names as well as local heroesspanning every musical genre. These bands delivered exactly what the crowd expected and came to hear.
The SONY Make.Believe Stage and The Voodoo Stage were home to the festival's headliners. Friday night featured MUSE and Weezer. MUSE roared onto the stage with a rousing version of "Uprising" and never let up. They treated the fans to a set filled with hits and favorites which included: "Resistance," "Undisclosed Desires," "Supermassive Black Hole," "Starlight" and "Knights of Cydonia." Unfortunately for the audience, which appeared to swell to a point where there were virtually no areas left on the grass infield inside the Track & Field oval to put down a blanket/to sit/to stand, Weezer looked fantastic but were plagued by terrible sound.
Saturday was Ozzy Osbourne, the self-proclaimed Prince of Darkness (who sauntered out to the center of the stage with an impish evil grin, held court, sprayed the crowd with a hose and sung his classics including "Mr. Crowley," "Crazy Train," "Ironman" and "Suicide Solution") and Tom Morello's Street Sweeper Social Club.
Sunday evening featured MGMT (whose five members performed their entire set dressed in costume as Daphne, Fred, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby). Their set included: "Kids," "It's Working," "Siberian Breaks" and others from their two hit Sony releases [Oracular Spectacular (2008) and Congratulations (2010)]. My Morning Jacket (who also appeared dressed in "wizardy" Halloween attire and played "Wordless Chorus" and "Anytime" while in costume) dazzled the crowd. My Morning Jacket proves over and over again that they are truly superstars. Jim James and Carl Broemel raised the bar for and every guitarist in the audience and gave them something to aspire to. The band, which was so tight and firing on all cylinders, even managed to cover Black Sabbath's eponymous theme song and Al Johnson's Mardi Gras anthem "Carnival Time" (with a guest appearance by Preservation Hall Jazz Band). Their set also included: "Touch Me, I'm Going To Scream," "Evil Urges," "I'm Amazed" and many others. Fittingly, My Morning Jacket closed the festival (on Halloween night) with a fantastic version of "One Big Holiday."
The main stages were home to a large pool of talent over the three days, including Seattle-based first time Voodoo performers Minus The Bear, who are currently on tour supporting their fourth full length recording, Omni (Dangerbird, 2010). Minus the Bear stirred the crowd with their eclectic sound and sturdy instrumentation, giving a solid performance on the last day of the fest, including thanking someone in the crowd for wearing a Bear costume with a minus on it to the show for Halloween! Kentucky-bred Cage The Elephant proved inventive, with a no holds barred performance by the brothers Schultz and the rest of the band tearing- up the stage, with Matt Schultz on lead vocals flinging himself into a frenzy during a set that included "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" and "In One Ear." Bob Florence, behind talented belter Florence Welch, proved to be even more impressive in a live setting, providing the audience with a set that was as much music as it was performance art. She commanded the stage with flashing red hair and a flowing black dress that twirled in the breeze. The talent flowed with amazing performances by Interpol, Metric, Jonsi, Blackberry Smoke, The Airborne Toxic Event and The Whigs spread out over three incredible days.
These legends and chart-topping acts proved why they were chosen to headline and anchor the festival. They came; they saw; they played and in many cases they conquered. They left the faithful happy and in many cases completely satiated. They were not, however, the only reasons to attend Voodoo.
As in past years, away from the two biggest stages, on the sides of the City Park festival area, the SoCo/WWOZ Stage, The Preservation Hall Tent and The Bingo! Tent featured performances by the Festival's unsung heroes. It was on these three stages that many less well-known and some up-and-coming musicians as well as some very cool local artists plied their trade to dancing, screaming, adoring, smiling and enthusiastic fans.